You’ve recently decided to start a new business or breathe new life into an old one but you’re not exactly sure where to start or how to develop your brand identity and establish it. Not to worry, we wrote this blog as part of a series that will explain some of the basics of just how to do that and why when developing your brands logo you should choose a vector option for development over a raster logo.
So, what’s the difference between vector and raster and what does each one mean? Let’s start by explaining what each one means.
Vector art itself is defined by Wikipedia® as is the use of geometrical primitives such as points, lines, curves, and shapes or polygon(s), which are all based on mathematical expressions, to represent images in computer graphics.
Vector artwork is created with such professional graphics programs as Adobe Illustrator® or Corel Draw®. These applications will traditionally work in a 2 dimensional environment although some have additional capabilities to do some 3 dimensional work or manipulation.
Vector artwork itself is typically more simplistic and devoid of any complex elements such as glows, shadows and other photographic type elements that are traditionally used to style an item. This does not mean that a logo or brand identity can be completely free of artistic design or creativity.
In the simplest terms Vector art is scalable. This means that a vector based piece of artwork, such as your logo can be resized for various uses without losing quality or distorting it’s integrity. This is important when maintaining a consistent brand identity, especially if others may be using it in various applications.
Another great benefit to using a vector graphic is that Pantone® Colors can be applied. A Pantone® Color is defined as a largely a standardized color reproduction system. By standardizing the colors, different manufacturers in different locations can all refer to the Pantone system to make sure colors match without direct contact with one another.
In short, this means that when using this color system you can make certain that the color you have selected to represent your brand remains intact regardless of the printing process used.
We will discuss the benefits of a vector logo over a raster logo later in this article.
Raster art is defined by Wikipedia® as In computer graphics, a raster graphics image, or bitmap, is a dot matrix data structure representing a generally rectangular grid of pixels, or points of color, viewable via a monitor, paper, or other display medium. Raster images are stored in image files with varying formats.
Raster artwork itself is more like a photograph, which is resolution dependent, meaning they cannot scale up to an arbitrary resolution without loss of apparent quality. Raster artwork can be developed using any number of programs such as Adobe Photoshop® or Corel Photo Paint®.
Raster graphics can contain highly complex filters such as glows, drop shadows, 3d effects and a wide variety of other elements used to make an object look realistic. The downside here is that the object is defined by it’s size. Meaning that if you increase the size of the object larger than it’s created at you begin losing quality and the image will distort. This is not true with Vector graphics.
So why would someone want to create a more simplistic, less flashy logo using Vector rather than Raster?
Let’s start by assuming you want to take your brand identity or logo and use it to showcase your business on a billboard or perhaps a large truck. Either of those will be fairly large in size and will need a logo that is quite large to represent clearly to the viewer. If the image is distorted, unrecognizable or different than what your brand identity is defined as you have failed and a viewer will not make the connection. The key to successful brand identity is consistency. Maintaining that consistency everywhere you position your business is critical and often means the difference between gaining or losing a client.
In the instance above a vector logo can be increased in size or dimension to fit the application and will retain it’s integrity. Often times because of this a company developing the graphic itself will not accept a logo in raster format because they do not want to be held responsible for loss of image quality in the final output.
Developing a logo in a vector format is always the best place to start as you can always import it into a raster based program and add effects to it if necessary for different applications. Keep in mind that this will cause your brand identity to differ and no longer be consistent.
Raster versions of your brand do have their uses. Most websites do not support vector graphics with the exception of an .SVG file which is a form of vector. Raster logos can be made into a .PNG file with no background allowing you to place your brand over any background you choose. Various other raster files like a .JPEG can always serve their purpose where a low resolution version of your brand are needed. When placing your logo online for branding you want to have a file that’s size is small so the user can download or view it easily with little download time.
We always suggest doing preliminary sketches of your intended logo on paper to get an idea of exactly what it is you intend to create. This gives you a working model to refer to once you have made your final selection.
Both Vector and Raster have their uses however development of a logo in a vector environment is the preferred method for the advantages it provides.
Let EV2 develop a lasting brand identity with an impactful logo design that will establish your brand and clearly convey your message.